French Open tournament director Amelie Mauresmo makes immediate policy change

Amelie Mauresmo wasted no time addressing issues raised by David Goffin after his first-round win over French player Giovanni Mpetshi Perricard.
Novak Djokovic plays at the French Open
Novak Djokovic plays at the French Open / Clive Mason/GettyImages

The French Open is not even at its midpoint, and tournament director Amelie Mauresmo is making significant and immediate policy changes.

The tournament got some bad press after David Goffin talked about how he was treated during his five-set first-round match victory over French player Giovanni Mpetshi Perricard.

Goffin described an "unhealthy" Roland Garros atmosphere where he was insulted for 3 1/2 hours, and someone spat chewing gum at him. Goffin said the other Grand Slams do not have this environment and warned that no one would be shocked if "smoke bombs, hooligans" and fights in the stands would happen next.

How Amelie Mauresmo responded

Kudos to Mauresmo, a former player who probably acted quicker because she could appreciate and empathize with Goffin's strugges.

She has banned alcohol sales in the stands. She said umpires must be more vocal in controlling the crowd during the match.

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"Alcohol was until now authorised in the stands. Now it's over. The umpires are really going to be even more strict to further respect to the players and respect the game."

Before fans begin to blame all of this raucous behavior on the Parisians, it is worth noting that the lack of decorum at tennis matches has become a growing problem.

Both Novak Djokovic and Sebastian Korda have had recent run-ins with Italian Open fans that were problematic. While Djokovic getting hit in the head with a flying water bottle was an accident, it still shows carelessness on the part of fans when in large crowds with players and other fans.

Sebastian Korda's incident was similar to what Goffin described. Korda said his family, team, and girlfriend were ridiculed during his 2 1/2 hour match.

If this behavior continues, more tournament directors will need to take decisive action as Mauresmo did. Hopefully limiting alcohol sales to outside the stadiums when matches are in progress helps. Empowering the umpires is always a good option, but they may need additional resources to keep order on the tennis court and in the stands.

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